Writer’s Workshop with Mama Kat! It must be Thursday

It’s Writers Workshop day with Mama Kat.  I’ve chosen prompt three.

3.) “How long until you realized you had no talent or patience for this? Tell the story (true or fiction) of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly.”

When I was a young college student (as opposed to now when I’m old) I wanted to be an architect.  I spent years watching my dad who, while being a fireman, also did drafting for lots of people on the side.  I loved watching him draw.  The different tools fascinated me, all the template rulers and tracing paper and the shiny tubes the drawings went in; I thought I would be perfect for the job.  Eagerly I mailed off applications to various school with architecture or design as part of their majors.  Chicago Art Institute, Pratt, University of Idaho (lost a bit of glamour there but it was relatively close to home).  I was accepted and even offered a scholarship to Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now Philadelphia University).

I thought wahoo!  I made it.  The registrar handed me my shiny schedule.  Design I, Drawing I, Ideas and Images.  This was it.  I was going to be An Architect.

Until one very disturbing night when I entered the chapel (incidentally the Drawing I classroom) and my professor proclaimed

“You can’t draw!”

I’ll keep my opinion of said hack wench professor to myself.  But it was a blow.  My Design professor said I had a way of looking at things no one else did.

And this is a bad thing exactly why?  I could have been the next Mies van der Rohe for crying out loud!  But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  And my young girls self got crushed and stomped on and deflated.  I spent many a night wondering just what I wanted to be NOW that my dream was mushed into the sidewalk.

And back then, my 18 year old self came up with Marketing.  I do have 60 credits towards a degree in that field.  I got A’s in my advertising class as a sophomore in a junior level class (I’m not trying to be bragging, just saying, damn it, I am actually really good at that).  Then life happened called – You’re Broke and no one will loan you any money, so you better work full time and go to school, then get married have kids and Life Happens.

So here we are today.  Where I’m about to attempt to get a degree, again, but this time in journalism.  I guess I really have that crappy drawing professor to thank for showing me what it is I really wanted to be whenever I decided to grow up. 

Writer’s Workshop with Mama Kat

This is another weekly event I haven’t completed in awhile (due to total lack of inspiration).  But this weeks number one caught my eye.  If you want to join in you can go over to Mama Kat’s and see which topic inspires you.

Mama's Losin' It

1.  Sometimes the people who inspire me the most are people I talk to everyday.  The amazing thing is that the majority of them are people I’ve never even met.

2.  There are so many talented bloggers writers out there, I feel blessed just to be sharing the same internet.  A sampling of a few: Irish Gumbo, Clark Kent’s Lunchbox, Let’s Have a Cocktail.  Just to name a very few.  It’s because of writers like these that I keep writing.  Everyone has a story.

3.  Sometimes you can’t please everyone.  Sometimes what you write might not come across the way you intended.  You have to learn to roll with it and apologize when necessary.

4.  Thanks to Gina, I now know that any food that has the word ‘chocolate’ ‘donut’ ‘cookie’ or ‘cupcake’ in it’s name is perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  And I don’t have to be ashamed to share that.

5.  It has it’s ups and downs.  Sometimes from minute to minute.

6.  If it weren’t for blogging, I wouldn’t know about BlogHer.  If I didn’t know about BlogHer I wouldn’t be going.  If I weren’t going I wouldn’t have to ask the following:

Does anyone need a roommate for the conference?  I don’t snore, talk in my sleep or sleepwalk.  I’ll bring you chocolate and buy your drinks and at the end of the night I won’t even hit on you.  So who needs a roomie??  Email me.

7.  There are a wealth of other people that are having or have had the same experiences I have.  And without that knowledge sometimes I don’t know if I would have survived.

8.  I’ve also learned that my family is more important than blogging.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

9.  There’s no substitute for talking to a dozen people around the world in an hour and never having to either get out of my pj’s or put down my morning coffee.

10.  Ten is a long list.  I realize I made it mostly about the people here on the internet.  But if the internet didn’t have people, it wouldn’t exist now would it?

If you’d like to read more from the Writer’s Workshop visit Mama Kat.  You can also find more of my own Writer’s Wokshop posts by clicking the name link in the sidebar.

Writers Workshop with Mama Kat!

It’s Writer’s Workshop day over at Mama Kat’s Losin’ It! Please stop by and visit all the other wonderful bloggers who have something to say today.(*despite what you may or may not see below these paragraphs ARE spaced – double spaced. But blogger is blogger after all. And sucks.)
Prompt 3 – What would you put in your favorite things giveaway?
Well it would be a mixed basket of items. Completely random and strange but somehow they would make up my favorite things. The list would look like this:
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce (only available at Shop Rite) – This beats JD’s Sauce or Texas Masterpiece anyday of the week my friends. If you don’t have it your area let me know I may just send you some.
Coffee – Green Mountian Pumpkin Spice, it’s almost time to be able to buy it again (since it’s a seasonal flavor). I’ve ordered my catalog to be sure I don’t miss out this year. I’m thinking 12 bags should hold me over for awhile.
Mancala – It’s a game. Available at Target for $4.99 It’s a very simple game with a wooden board and marbles and the idea is to get more marbles in your home space than the other person. It’s a lot of fun and while it seems very simple it requires strategy and thinking. My seven year old loves it.
A book – It would be hard to say which book because I have so many favorites. It could be book seven of the Harry Potter series. It could be Anna Karenina. It could be Bel Canto. At any rate a book would be sure to be nestled in among the tissue paper.
A Reisenthal shopping basket – We bought one in Germany (because they do not provide bags, plastic or otherwise there, you have to buy them. Incidentially they don’t bag your things either that’s all on you. So now it makes me nuts when clerks here try to do it for me. I like my own way thanks.) I love my basket. It may have cost me 49.99 euros but it was so very worth it. Search Reisenthal or try Reisenthal.de if you’d like to buy one for yourself.

Recipes – I love to cook and I enjoy getting recipes from others so the times I’ve particiapted in favorite things swaps I’ve tried to include them. I would include my recipes for: Sausage Jambalaya (I may not be able to spell it but I can cook it). Heartwarming Chilli. Penne with vodka tomato sauce. Penne with proscuitto and parmesan cream sauce. Homemade macaroni and cheese. Grandma D’s Thanksgiving stuffing. Not exactly light fair but how hard is it to open a bag of salad with most of those?

So that would fill up my basket of goodies. What would your basket look like? What are your favorite things? Be sure to tell em here or head over to Mama Kat’s and link up your own post!

Writers Workshop with Mama Kat!

Happy Thursday! It’s time for Writers Workshop with Mama Kat at Mama Kat’s Losin’ It. Today I chose this prompt to write on:
3.) What are YOU giddy about?

This is an easy one today. Yesterday we went over to show Hubby our new house (since he hadn’t actually seen it yet). We’ve figured out where all the furniture should go and how things
need to be placed and what we are missing. Afterwards we drove around the new neighborhood and stopped by Boo’s new school. We met the kindergarten teacher who was in the office and she was SUPER nice. If the second grade teachers are even half as nice Boo will be in great shape.
The area we are going to live is so nice. Everything is really close by – Barnes & Noble, Pier 1, Old Navy, TGIFriday’s, Michael’s – I could go on and on. We found the library and got cards and even checked out some books! It feels nice, dare I say Giddy! to have found a library again.
I also traded away my NJ license for a PA one. Yea! No more Jersey girl jokes 🙂
The Hirst Trek bike (better views at http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/stages/hirst/)
It’s BUTTERFLY’S. How absolutely awesome is that? Armstrong will have it at the Tour today.

So that’s what I’m giddy about today. To recap – great school, the library and all the shops at my fingertips. Giddy is good.
Head over to Mama Kat’s and link up or just stop over and see who else is writing today.

Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop: Wanted

It’s Thursday and time for Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop once again.  I love Thursday’s almost as much as I love Random Tuesdays.  I really like the fifth prompt today and I had a bit of fun being creative with this one.  Be sure to stop over to Mama Kat’s and see who else is sharing their creativity today.
*I forgot to put up the badge yesterday so I did it today.  Yes I felt that bad about forgetting it.

5.) Create a Help Wanted Ad.
(inspired by Jenners)

Wanted: One house to rent, condition of no concern as long as walls are standing, preferably with indoor plumbing but I’m not picky, outhouses okay.  I will keep up the yard and scatter it with bikes and random large plastic toys.  I promise to keep music to a minimum so as not to annoy the neighbors so long as they provide the same courtesy.  Three bedrooms would be optimal but my kids have to get used to sharing so one or two rooms is also fine.  No garage necessary, I’m sure I can manage without.  I do prefer a driveway but again I’m not overly particular.  Kitchen is a must with sink and stove.  If fire codes allow I can do my cooking over an open flame pit in the backyard but that’s going to get cold in the winter.  The house should also have heating.  It doesn’t have to work overly well as I’m always cold so I won’t be able to tell the difference either way.  But my kids do prefer heat on occasion.  

If you’ve got a house that sounds like the one above be sure to email me at livinginadreamworld@insanity.com

Head over to Mama Kat’s and see who else is playing along today! {And if you’ve got a house like the one above you let me know okay?}

Writer’s Workshop with Mama Kat: Books

It’s time for Writers Workshop with Mama Kat at Mama Kat’s Losin’ It!

The prompt I chose today:
1.) Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
(inspired by Heather)

I’m always in the middle of reading several books at once.  Currently I have three with active bookmarks.  I chose the one on the top of the pile on my desk.  Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier  I’ve been reading this for awhile now since it’s one of those books where you have to concentrate to find the hidden message and yadda yadda.  That means I only pick it up when I am in the mood and have adequate time to read it (both have been scarce as of late).  Here are two lines from page 80 (paperback version).  It is part of a journal written by an Amadeu de Prado and is being read by the main character Raimund Gregorius who has been so captured by Prado’s words he’s left behind his life in Germany to go to Lisbon to uncover the meaning behind the authors journal.
“And I had tried to drive away something else in the lighted streets: the memory of my rage at my clumsy words announcing the bitter message that had later been turned against Adriana only because she, who takes care of me better than a mother, had forgotten to bring my favorite bread.  If only the white gold light of the morning would extinguish this injustice that wasn’t untypical for me!”

There is a line further onto the next page that I love:
“How does this figure fit into the framework of the pleasure and displeasure and into the remaining architecture of his soul?”

“architecture of his soul”  I really like that line.  It sounds like a good way to describe a person’s soul as it’s built with different turns and twists and supports, always changing and being built.
And another favorite line:
“Names are the invisible shadows with which others clothe us and we them.” page 161
I really like that line as well.  Just take some time to think on it and I’d love to hear any interpretations you come up with!
To see who else is Prompting Up today visit Mama Kat for additional Writers Workshop answers.

Writers Workshop With Mama Kat: A Letter

It’s Writers Workshop Day with Mama Kat so it must be Thursday.  Today I am in the mood to play so here’s the prompt I chose. Head over to Mama Kat’s and see who else is playing along today!
4.) Write a letter.
*I am adding onto the post after reading some of the comments. The first thing I did not mention I suppose that might be significant is that I felt this other blogger and myself had formed a nice quasi friendship also via another social internet medium.  So maybe that’s the reason I felt a bit bothered.  It’s not easy to explain but when you live so far away from what you are used to, and being that perhaps it takes me a bit to get to know people, forming friendly relationships via blogs and whatnot perhaps weighed more in my mind than it should have.  Until you’ve been in the situation it’s hard to understand.

The second point is that this was never originally intended as a blog post or a letter this was something I wrote out several months ago as journal of sorts (I do this when something bothers me or I need clarification in my own mind).  I had never planned to share it but when I sat down this morning looking for something to write about I came across this and decided to share it.  I do not believe in arbitrarily commenting for the sake of a two word comment, to ‘stroke the ego’ rather because of the semi-friendship I thought I had made the lack of comments seemed… strange (for lack of a better word).  I don’t tend to comment if you post three or more times a day, I just don’t have time.  I’ve recently deleted myself from following a few blogs because in truth I wasn’t reading them.  So I don’t look for people to comment just to comment, that really wasn’t the point of sharing this.  Make of it what you will.
Dear Insignificant Blogger,

I stopped following you because I got the feeling you’d prefer that.  I’ve read your words for months, wonderful words I have to say and that I will miss, as there aren’t very many people out there who write like that.  I’ve read and commentated on every post with maybe one exception in the past few months.  You’ve commented exactly once on my blog, which is fine, not everyone I comment to comments back. And vice versa sometimes.

But why are you following me then?  A simple reciprocation follow, I don’t really get that.  I follow because I want to know what a person has to say.  Doesn’t it get annoying to have to scroll through my nearly daily posts to get to the blogs you want to read?  You could have simply un-followed, that wouldn’t have hurt my feelings.  Following and not commenting does.

I felt like I followed your words a bit too carefully, took them too much to heart and thought about them a bit too much.  Your posts often were anything but uplifting but they were so genuine and struck a cord with me because I myself was going through a particularly hard time.  So your truthful words of your own struggles were something I could identify with.

I tended to get a reply to my comment from you within your comment box and I enjoyed hearing you ‘speak’ as it were.  I read comments you left on others blogs, we tend to travel in the same places.

But you never visited my blog a second time so I started to feel like maybe, while you commented back, you really didn’t want me to comment and didn’t care to hear what I was saying. 

Maybe I am overly sensitive it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s said so.  I take this sort of stuff to heart, far more than I should.  If I am going to read a blog, one like yours with the amazing posts, then I’m going to comment. 

So I’m not reading anymore and therefore not commenting.  And I think maybe it’s better all around that way.  I’m not so sucked into caring about the dramas of your life and that’s got to be a good thing considering I don’t even know you.

Wishing you the best,

Writers Workshop with MamaKat


It’s Thursday and that means it’s Writers Workshop with Mama Kat!  Yea! I love Thursdays. They are so fun.  Never heard of this before?  (What planet are you living on??)  Go to the link for Mama Kat to see the other prompts and check out who else is writing today.  It’s lots of fun and therapeutic to boot.

3.)Describe a ‘sound’ from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?

I liked this one a lot.  I recently read a blog post about boats which made me think about boats and how I was born to be on one.  Ever since I was a little itty bitty girl my parents have had a boat.  From the 19 ft open bow Bayliner of my young days to the 32 Maxum they have now we’ve always been a boating family.  Many a happy summer has been spent on the shores of a lake.  
Decorated for the Fourth of July Boat Parade with the Mavericks Yacht Club

The sound I associate with would be that of a boat’s engine.  The puttering as we move away from the marina and the roar as we take off down the lake for a day of fun.  I don’t really know how to describe the actual sound it makes but when I hear it it makes me think of this:

Sunshine, water, happiness

I’ve been hearing that sound for so long its truly engrained in my brain.  I love going to visit my parents at the lake in the summer.  It’s my favorite time of year anyway so being there with my own kids on the lake I grew up on in beautiful Northern Idaho is wonderful.  I like that I can share what I experienced as a child with my own kids.  The pictures from Tuesday’s post are from the lake two years ago.

The happiest times in childhood are encompassed in the lakes where we went boating as kids. Lake Roosevelt, Lake Couer d’Alene, Couer d’Alene River.  Sis remember the rope swing over the river?  Long sandy beaches lining the river, the anticipation of the twenty minute boat ride until we rounded the bend in the river that signaled Our Beach.  The Rope Swing Beach.  There were several other families in our little group we went to this beach with and finding them there would always be a wonderful surprise as we beached the boat and all the kids clamored to the rope swing to be the first to swing out over the river and let go.
rope swing
We went up the river a few years ago and the beach and rope are still there.  We didn’t stop this time continuing on our way but looking at the beach the sound came back to me.  The boat, the laughter, the creak of the rope as I swung out over the river.  

The future wide open and waiting.

MamaKat’s Writers Workshop and then some

It’s Writers Workshop day with MamaKat!  It’s on every Thursday so be sure to join in.
Head over to her place if you just want to read what everyone else is writing!

The Prompts:

1.) Book review!

2.) When is it okay not to listen to the words? Explain about a song you really love that has lame lyrcis or lyrics you simply don’t understand.


3.) Why won’t you forget? List six true sentences that begin with the words ‘I’ll never forget…’ Then use all six of your sentences in a paragraph, poem, or longer descriptive piece.

4.) Write about an interaction you had with a salesman.

5.) What’s for dinner? I’m starving.

Okay I pick number five cause I’m not feeling inspired by the prompts today (I’ve got my own little thing I want to say).

Tonight’s dinner is…Chicken Fajitas!  I swear Hubby and I eat this once a week.  I simply can not get enough.  The funny thing is we hardly EVER made fajitas when we lived in the US. Very weird indeed.  The kids won’t touch them so they get chicken nuggets, veggies, fruit and milk.  Well, Chick probably would eat them if we were willing to share.
If you are hungry I highly recommend making fajitas or heading out to Chili’s.
This is for all of you:
I Wouldn’t Know Nuttin’ if it Weren’t For You
I wouldn’t know about the Zombie Apocalypse if it weren’t for Keely at The Un-Mom.
I wouldn’t know about He Blogs/She Blogs if it weren’t for a blogger who writes for Hot Dads who led me to Petra  The Wise (Young) Mommy
I wouldn’t know anything about Sumo wrestler wallpaper (and wanting to buy some) if it weren’t for Captain Dumbass at Us and Them
I wouldn’t have such awesome music flashbacks if it weren’t for Musical Monday’s and Robin at Cinnamon & Honey
I wouldn’t have musical flash forwards if it weren’t for Shelle at BlokThoughts who turned me onto Lady Gaga
I wouldn’t know about Kane spiders or be so in love with Jack Johnson if it weren’t for Crash at Crash Test Dummy Diaries
I wouldn’t know it was earth day yesterday and look smart to my son if it weren’t for Kimberly at Zook Book Nook
Nor would I know all about pie if it weren’t for The Blonde Duck
I don’t know much about being a single parent but Debbie at The Single Mom in a Complicated World makes it look so easy
I wouldn’t be getting my healthy on if it weren’t for Casey at Half As Good As You and Club HASAY
I also wouldn’t know anything about the Bonehead Brothers if it weren’t for Mrs. Cox at My Own  Brand of Crazy
So you see?  I really wouldn’t know nuttin’ if it weren’t for You!

Writers Workshop with MamaKat

It’s Thursday again (and thank goodness only two more days till vacation is over and my oldest goes back to school!) Thursday means it’s time to play Writers Workshop over at MamaKat’s!  She’s got some great prompts this week so be sure to grab one for yourself link up or just head over and see who else is writing this week.

The Prompts:

1.) If I sent you four hundred dollars today what is ONE thing you would spend it on and why. ps I want my change.

2.) What are your kids talking about?

3.) Tell us about a local news story that’s all the buzz right now in your neck of the woods.

4.) Share some blogging advice.

5.) Tell us about that time at the playground when that thing happened.
(thanks to Heather at Chasing Butterfly’s who unknowingly inspired this last prompt)

I’m choosing prompt FOUR.

Blogging advice from Blogging Mama:

Don’t drone on and on about boring stuff.  I don’t want to know about your brothers fifth wife’s third cousins second middle child.  Really I don’t.  I also don’t care what you had for dinner or lunch; that will only make me hungry.  So please don’t tell me (email me instead with the title FOOD and I’ll open it after I eat.)

I don’t get why people love to talk about their cats.  I don’t care about cats.  If it was up to me cats would not exist.  Mean but true. (Now please read the advice below!!)
Don’t take things too seriously.  Remember that words written and what they would sound like spoken, possibly in jest, don’t always translate when you read them.  This one is important to remember.

Don’t get caught up in the popularity of blogging.  It’ll crush you in the end and you’ll spend far too much time wondering about why that person you always say hi to never says hi back.  It’s so totally not worth the effort of being the nice guy sometimes. 

Have fun when you blog.  Tell a story every now and then and be kind.  Not everyone you ‘meet’ is going to feel the same way about your comments.  If you forget please skip up two pointers and re-read.

Learn from other people, meet other people, reach out to other people.  I’ve learned, meet and reached out over my three plus blogging years.  There are some very amazing writers, people and stories being told out there.  Jump up and embrace them.  

Don’t ever be afraid to compliment someone when they write something you like.  It will mean something to them if they take the time to listen to their readers.  It really will.  If you don’t like what they wrote, don’t say so.  Is it really worth possibly hurting someone else just to let them know what they wrote sucked?  No, it isn’t.

And after visiting some sites today for the WW can I please say DO NOT LINK TO A CARNIVAL WHEN YOU DIDN’T ACTUALLY PARTICPATE.  Seriously ticks me off to click your link when you didn’t participate and just want FREE traffic.  So people who do that, you suck.  You really do.
So that’s advice from Blogging Mama about Blogging. 

Venus and Mars

What prompt would you pick this week?  Go to MamaKat’s and see what everyone else is talking about!